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Unraveling Flanders’ textile ecosystem

Tune in to Flanders’ dedicated organizations for know-how, research, business incubation, and more.
By setting up a base in Flanders, you gain access to a close-knit business and knowledge ecosystem for your textile business. How? By tuning in to these sector-dedicated organizations for know-how, research, industry clustering, business incubation, and more.

Know-how and research

Universities and university colleges

  • UGent – Ghent University’s Department of Textiles serves as a center of excellence for textile science and engineering, powering into cutting-edge research.
  • HoGent – The TO2C textile lab from Ghent University College contributes to the sector’s development through focused innovation and education, leveraging a cross-sectoral approach and in line with technological, economic, social and cultural trends.

Research and knowledge centers

  • Centexbel – Flanders’ main innovation center for smart textiles and smart materials offers a range of activities and services: ranging from R&D, testing and consultancy to certification and training.
  • Flanders Make – Flanders’ strategic research center for innovative engineering and manufacturing technologies.
  • CMST – Part of nano-, micro- and digital technology knowledge center imec, the Center for Microsystems Technology focuses on design and technology research in cutting-edge fields such as stretchable microsystems and Polymer photonics and structuring.

Projects and initiatives

  • SmartPro – This European project focuses on applications of smart textiles and wearable intelligence in sectors such as safety and intervention, (home)care, sports and leisure and technical applications.
  • Factories of the Future: New Materials – From open test infrastructure to dedicated research and education, this multidisciplinary collaboration project aims to transform the plastics, textiles and design industry into genuine factories of the future. 

Cluster and key organizations

  • Fedustria – Professional federation for companies in the textile, wood and furniture industries.
  • Symatex – Trade association for manufacturers of machinery and equipment for the textile and plastics processing industries.
  • Unitex – National Association of (technical) executives of the textile industry in Belgium.

Business incubators

  • TIO3 – The Textiles Open Innovation Center offers event, business and office facilities as well as inspiration and training possibilities, tailored to the needs of textile industry players and startups.
  • TIC – The Textile Incubation Center aims to help business in textile-related domains start up or grow.
  • MIA-H - MIA-H fosters fashion and accessories technology by providing workspaces, offices and a lab where entrepreneurs and students can experiment with fashion tech machines. 

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